Designer Ritu Beri recently showcased her ‘Baby Beri’ collection at India Kids Fashion Week 2015. In a tête-à-tête with Retailer Media, she talked about the inception of Baby Beri and the evolution of kids fashion segment from unorganised players to brands.
How has kids fashion industry evolved over the years? Any factors affecting this change?
Industry analysts point out that the kids wear market is the fastest-growing in ready-to-wear apparels, expected to maintain an average growth of 13 per cent till 2016. The Rs 38,000-crore kids’ apparel industry is seeing players honing their expansion plans.
What factors are driving this market?
Rising media exposure, high disposable income of the parents, fashion sense and brand consciousness among children are driving factors of kids’ apparel market in India.
What made you venture into kids wear segment and launch Baby Beri?
My journey as a mother made me realise the need for designer wear for children, something that’s exclusive and yet easygoing! My collection ‘Baby Beri’ was launched in 2009, it is predisposed towards supporting the under privileged children of India.
What is the scope for Indian brands amidst global players?
There are many international brands available in the market but Indian brands are likely to be accepted more than international counterparts as they can provide an unmatched value proposition and adapt to local taste profiles.
What is your take on brands entering kids segment which is dominated by unorganised players?
Contrary to popular belief, the share of branded kids wear in the market has shrunk considerably over the last few years, as some key brands have faced a major correction in their business. I would presume that branded apparel is still less than 10 per cent of the kids’ market in India.
The unorganised players, who offered a wide range of styles at low prices and concentrated on higher volumes, dominated this market. However, this is gradually giving way to branded clothing becoming the popular option for kids wear. Many domestic and global companies are extending their portfolios, and expanding their geographies, in order to leverage the growth of the kids wear market in India.
What is a kids wear brand’s target audience: the kid or his parents?
The significance of fashion is primarily attributed to the fact that everybody wants to look good. Today’s kids have become more fashion conscious and they love to be stylish and unique.
Parents are not the sole decision-makers today, as children, from a very early age, take active part in the shopping process. Once they start going to school, peer pressure and exposure to a wider range of media makes them much more aware of the latest trends, celebrity styles, their favourite cartoon characters, et cetera, as compared to earlier generations. Thus, today’s children know exactly what they want to wear and how they would like to be dressed.
Which age group is the most active in this sense?
The age groups of 7-12 are very aware of fashion, they love to be more stylish and unique.
What specifications should a brand keep in mind while designing for kids' apparel and accessories?
Children today are brand conscious. This is the only segment which has not been impacted by the economic slowdown and is poised for significant growth. Whilst designing for children, one must consider the fit and comfort factor of the clothes for children.